Art dealer new chairman of Utah Democratic Party

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ An art dealer has been overwhelmingly elected as chairman of the Utah Democratic Party.


The Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune say Jim Dabakis, a co-founder of Equality Utah and the Utah Pride Center, is believed to be the first openly gay leader of a political party in Utah.

Dabakis, who replaces Wayne Holland, says Utah residents are broad-minded, and his sexual orientation did not surface as an issue.

After being nominated during the party's state convention Saturday in Salt Lake City, Dabakis said he would go out of his way to make Mormons feel comfortable in the Democratic Party.

Convention delegates elected small-business owner Brian Doughty, who also is openly gay, to fill the Salt Lake City House seat vacated by former state Rep. Jackie Biskupski.

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